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Internal Medicine (East Africa); Brain and Mind Institute


Globally close to 70% of the general population has experienced at least one traumatic life event (TLE). Although child and adulthood exposure to TLEs is considered a risk factor for the subsequent development of psychosis, few studies have examined the association between trauma and psychosis in the African population.

We sought to explore the association between TLEs and psychosis in patients with psychotic disorders (N = 254) and individuals without (N = 254). The participants were matched by age and sex. The study was conducted at a national referral hospital, the Life Events Checklist for DSM-5 (LEC-5) was used to obtain data on TLEs, and ethical approval was obtained from the ethics committee.

The proportion of those who experienced TLEs was equal among the cases and controls at about 80%. However, more cases reported that the TLEs happened to them (cases 60.3, p = 0.004).

After multivariate analysis, the following specific TLEs remained statistically significant.: Physical assault (aOR = 3.66, 95% CI 2.28–5.48), assaults with a weapon (aOR = 5.26, 95% CI 2.15–10.48), sexual assault (aOR = 4.55, 95% CI 1.08–10.48). The sudden death of a loved one (aOR = 2.33, 95% CI 1.15–4.70) and serious injury/harm to others (aOR = 10.53, 95% CI 1.47–89.37).

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.